Canada Launches a Recognized Employer Pilot

The Government of Canada has announced the establishment of a Recognized Employer Pilot Program (REP) for LMIA applications.

Please see below a summary of the important points for the program:

  • This is a 3-year pilot program beginning in September 2023. Phase one of the program will deal with agricultural occupations, followed by phase 2 which will prioritize in demand occupations in Canada. This phase will be launched in January 2024.
  • The initial occupation list, which may be amended, can be found here.
  • As of now, GTS LMIA Occupations, with the exception of Engineering Managers, are exempt from the list because these occupations are already eligible for priority processing measures of the GTS program.
  • Employers will need to meet the following eligibility criteria to be considered eligible for the REP:
    • they’ve received at least 3 positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) decisions under the regular stream, in the last 5 years to hire temporary foreign workers (TFWs) for positions on the REP occupations list; and
    • they meet the highest standards for working conditions, living conditions and worker protection as demonstrated through their history with the TFW Program (TFWP), and
    • they agree to adhere to the regular TFWP requirements (i.e. employment standards under the Canada Labour Code and employer compliance requirements)
  • If designated as a Recognized Employer, they will have access to faster processing of LMIAs during the course of the pilot, as well as LMIA durations of up to 36 months to be able to fill positions in in-demand occupations more quickly.
  • Because of the requirement to have 3 approved, regular LMIAs in an occupation on the REP list, as well as the fact that most GTS-level skilled positions are exempt from the occupation list, this program will only be relevant for select industries.
  • There is no indication that Quebec will be part of the program at this time. We assume Quebec will not want to be uncompetitive with the rest of Canada. Should Quebec release any information on the matter, EIG will provide updates.
  • EIG will review whether there is REP employer eligibility and where an appropriate LMIA opportunity exists next summer to seek enrollment (before enrollment closes in September 2024).
Erickson Insights

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.